The parade was held in downtown Vancouver. Our original plan was to just ride the sky train because parking fees in Vancouver are so expensive, but Ford changed his mind the last minute. Mas convenient nga naman kung magkotse kami. It was a Sunday so may mas murang parking naman daw.
We left the house at 10am (the parade's at 12noon) and stopped by McDonald's for a quick bite.
We reached downtown Vancouver a few minutes before 11am. They were closing some roads daw by 11 so we rushed into finding a parking space. My husband wouldn't hear of my suggestions (grrr!) so we ended up in a paid parking lot that charges $15. Hay kainis talaga.
I was afraid that we were "late" na. May mga kids' activities pa kasi prior to the parade (like face-painting, arts and crafts, etc.) that I wanted to go to. Sobrang daming tao nang dumating kami sa may activity area kaya imposible ng makasingit. Puno na rin halos yung mga gilid ng kalsada, nakapuwesto na ang mga manonood ng parade.
Akala ko wala na kaming mapupuwestuhan nang maayos, buti na lang naglakad pa si Ford somewhere farther. Ayun may bakante pa.
People were very ready -- may mga upuan, pagkain, at blankets pa talaga silang dala. I regretted not bringing chairs, tutal may kotse na rin lang kaming dala. Sabi ko pa naman the last time we watched a parade in downtown (for Canada Day) na magdadala na ako next time. Nakakangawit din kasing umupo sa kalsada lang eh.
I texted my friend Juris and asked where they were. Nakapuwesto na rin daw sila ng mga anak niya so we agreed to just see each other after the parade.
We were underdressed that day. We checked the weather and it wasn't supposed to be that cold. Kaya hindi makapal ang jacket namin ni hubby at walang hoodie. Pero grabe ang lamig lalo na kapag humahangin.
I brought some snacks for the little boy. Ang cute ng ziplock ko noh? Nahawa nako sa mga taga-dito, mga mukhang ziplock.
Nagutom na rin ka kaka-antay.
A few minutes after 12noon, dumaan na sa harap namin ang parada.
There were many Food Bank volunteers who were asking for donations.
I enjoyed watching my son's face. Sobrang saya niya. My 39-year-old husband naman was bored (lol!). Mas mabuti pa raw na matulog sa bahay kaloka! Wala naman kasi sya talaga hilig sa mga ganyan, pero sobrang natuwa rin siya sa nakita naming kasiyahan ng bagets.
The parade participants were giving away candies, stickers, and other treats kaya lalong naaliw si Nathan.
The floats/costumes were actually very simple, nothing grand. Wala akong nakitang nakapagpa-wow talaga sa akin. Kaya di na rin ako gaanong nagpicture.
Ayokong isipin na kulang lang sila sa creativity at budget, siguro talagang simple and modest lang ang mga Canadians.
But look at my son's reaction! Priceless talaga.
Finally, Santa Claus! I am glad that Telus saved the event from cancellation. Rogers yata ang dating sponsor kaso nagback-out na kaya nagka-budget shortfall. Pang 14th year na ng parade na ito this 2017.
But though the parade itself wasn't impressive, nang makita ko ang lahat ng nanood na ito, I felt a sense of community. So keri na rin. Sabi ko nga kay Ford, kung successful business owner lang ako dito sa Vancouver, I will participate. Magsasali talaga ako ng entry. It's a way of giving back eh. Around 300,000 daw ang spectators kaya masusulit naman.
We met Juris and and her kids afterwards. It was really cold. Akala ko ako lang ang nilalamig, pati pala ang asawa ko na sobrang lakas ng tolerance sa lamig. Hindi rin daw niya alam kung bakit ganun ang pakiramdam niya. Buti na lang medyo makapal ang jacket ni Nathan.
Juris's daughter Zoey cried daw after the parade. Sinumpong kasi tapos na.
After a few minutes, naghiwalay na rin kami. Nagbus at train lang sina Juris from Langley. Hindi naman namin sila maisasabay kasi bukod sa hindi kami kasya sa sasakyan namin, kailangan din ng car seat pag may sakay na bata.
Nagka-family picture rin nang hindi selfie. Thank you, Juris!
We decided to eat na lang sa Aling Ening's Restaurant in Fraser Street (malayo sa downtown) kasi wala na rin namang kaming magawa doon. It was too cold to stroll sa may Canada Place. In fact, naghanap pa nga kami ng Dollarama para bumili ng gloves.
Now the question is, will we watch the parade again next year?
Haha, kung kami lang siguro ni Ford, hindi na. But for as long as Nathan wants to, sige lang. Our Christmas is for him, after all.